Gleneagle man donates a kidney to his wife

LOVE: Troy Tonges was texting photos to his wife from the operating room while he waited to give her his kidney. Photo: Supplied

LOVE: Troy Tonges was texting photos to his wife from the operating room while he waited to give her his kidney. Photo: Supplied

A GLENEAGLE couple is living proof of how organ donation saves lives.

Emmaus College school officer Tami Tonges, 46, bounced back from end stage renal failure thanks to her husband Troy gifting her his kidney in February last year.

Ms Tonges said she had been born with degenerative kidney disease and both her mother and sister were also recipients of kidney donation.

"I was born with this kidney disease so we always knew this was going to happen," she said.

"We had been testing for a year before the surgery and because Troy is nine years older than me he had to undergo rigorous testing to make sure he was completely healthy and there would be no risk for him giving me a kidney."

After the surgery

After the surgery

The surgery was performed at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"Troy went in first and was prepped for an eight-hour operation to remove his kidney. I was prepped about an hour later.

"He was all alone and he coerced a nurse into taking some photos for me, so while I was being prepped he was texting me photos one at a time.

"They showed him pointing at his eye, at his heart and at the camera. He was in there getting prepped for major surgery and he was just worried about me being scared.

"I'm especially lucky because he's my husband, unrelated and a living donor. What he did for me was heroic and every day I'm alive is a reminder of his gift."

Tami and Troy Tonges have completely recovered after Troy sacrificed a kidney to save his wife.

Tami and Troy Tonges have completely recovered after Troy sacrificed a kidney to save his wife.

Ms Tonges said in the leadup to DonateLife Week (July 26- August 2) she wanted to make people aware of the importance of registering as an organ donor.

"People don't realise that your organ donor status is not on your driver's license any more and hasn't been for years," she said.

"You have to register at DonateLife online, and it only takes about a minute."

Ms Tonges said she and her husband had recovered quickly from their surgery and were both back in work within eight weeks.

"Troy is a builder in Beaudesert for Franklin Constructions and they were really great, made sure he had enough time off and made sure we were both looked after," she said.

Register for organ donation at donatelife.gov.au